Publication: Do School Feeding Programs Help Children?
Policymakers and development organizations have embraced school feeding programs as a way to help poor children get enough to eat while giving them an incentive to be in school. The programs are not just used in developing countries the United States began implementing school feeding programs in the 19th century and still uses them today for poor children. The popularity of these programs, which in some countries include take-home rations for households whose children attend school, make it imperative that we answer basic questions about the effectiveness of these programs. Do they boost enrollment and if so, are take-home rations as good as offering in-school meals? A proper lunch can ward off hunger, but is it enough to make up for years of nutritional deprivation? Children who aren't hungry can focus better in school does this mean they will do better in their classes? The World Bank is committed to the United Nations Mil-lennium Goals and support research that can help countries devise policies to reach these goals, including gender equality, child health and a primary school education for every child. As part of this, they support evaluations of programs designed to encourage children to enroll in school while helping boost their daily nutritional intake.
Link to Data Set
“World Bank. 2012. Do School Feeding Programs Help Children?. From Evidence to Policy. © Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/10418 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
Other publications in this report series
PublicationKenya: Can Scripted Schooling Improve Learning?(Washington, DC, 2022-10)Before the COVID pandemic, more than half of children in low and middle-income countries suffered from learning poverty: they either were out of school or failed to learn to read with comprehension by age 10. At the same time, numerous studies have documented serious challenges related to the quality of education services, particularly for those serving poor students. In a country like Kenya, for example, teachers exhibit low levels of content and pedagogical knowledge. Previous research has shown that highly structured teaching guides could improve literacy, but scripted lessons are not without critics, who worry that teachers will not be able to adapt content to student’s needs. In places where teachers may be less prepared to tailor high quality lessons to their students, however, scripting may offer a way to standardize a minimum level of quality at scale.
PublicationRwanda: Can Parenting Programs Improve Child Development and Prevent Violence Against Women and Children?(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11)Children need a safe, nurturing, healthy, and stimulating environment to thrive and reach their full potential. But millions of children living in poverty don’t receive enough stimulation or good nutrition in their first years of life, and poverty also makes them more likely to experience neglect and violence in the home. Domestic violence, however, is rarely addressed in programs promoting young children’s development, which also typically focus on mothers, with little attention on fathers. Previous research suggests home-based parenting programs can lead to positive improvements in children’s brain development. Can these programs be adapted to address family violence as well Can these services be effectively delivered through government social safety net programs which often target poor, vulnerable families
PublicationIndia: Can We Make Parenting Programs More Cost-Effective?(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-07)In the first years of life, all children need healthy food, a clean environment, and stimulation to thrive and reach their full developmental potential. However, poverty prevents millions of young children in low- and middle-income countries from receiving adequate nutrition and stimulation. As a result, many disadvantaged children’s brain development lags behind that of their well-off peers, which can have lifelong consequences. Previous research from low-income settings has found that encouraging parents to play and interact more with their children can improve children’s brain development, with impacts that can last into adulthood. Delivering these parenting programs at scale and in a cost-effective manner, however, has been a challenge, in part because some of the most successful programs have been delivered through intensive and relatively costly home-based programs.
PublicationArmenia: Increasing Preventive Screening for Non-Communicable Diseases in Armenia(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-04)More people around the world are dying from noncommunicable diseases than ever before. These diseases, which include cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and heart disease, prematurely kill more than 15 million people between ages 30 and 69 each year. Many of these health conditions also make individuals more susceptible to severe forms of other diseases like Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study targeted adults between the ages of 35 and 68 in Armenia who had not been screened in the preceding year. The baseline data suggests this population was not economically secure: half of participants responded that their income was sufficient for basic family needs, such as food, clothing, and utilities, but not enough for big purchases like a car, while 35 percent responded that their income is sufficient for everyday food but not for clothes and other basic needs. More than half of those in the study were unemployed. This research finds that conditional incentives and personalized invitations can substantially increase screening for diabetes and hypertension for those who haven’t been recently screened. Further research may be needed to evaluate these interventions at scale.
PublicationRwanda: Can Performance Pay for Teachers Improve Students’ Learning?(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-01)Performance pay for teachers generates debate. Proponents argue that many school systems have low levels of accountability and advocate incentivizing teachers by linking their pay to either their own efforts or their students’ learning. Critics, however, raise concerns that performance pay attracts people to the teaching workforce who are in it for the money and can diminish the intrinsic motivation to teach among teachers already in classrooms.